A project manager at Martin's company approached him for help with some survey software. He'd written and maintained similar software before, so it wasn't a big deal.

Martin's job duties as a web developer included some murkily-defined responsibilities including "Other Duties as Required." With the PM's request, Martin learned that "Other Duties" actually means either clairvoyance or independence from space-time.

PM: We're going to have an email going out on Monday telling users to take a survey. I'd like to have the survey set up and ready on Friday. Can you help me with that?
Martin: Sure, sounds good.
PM: Great, I'll send you the email list to import before launch on Monday.

Martin had the site working by Thursday afternoon.

Martin: Good news, the site's ready. Let me show you the survey so you can test it out...
PM: Wonderful. Now just get me a copy of the results and we're all set.
Martin: Sure, I'll send those to you next Friday after the users have taken the survey.
PM: Next Friday?! I promised the client that I'd have the results tomorrow!
Martin: Are you sure you don't mean next Friday? Surely the client can't expect... I mean... we're sending out the email inviting users to take the survey on Monday!
PM: Yeah, that's right!
Martin: OK, I just want to be sure I have this right.

We want to have the survey results on Friday.


We're sending the users an email to take the survey on Monday.


...ergo, you want the survey results before the users take the survey.
PM: Yeah, what's the problem? I need the survey results now!

Martin argued some more, but it only worked to his detriment. He got an email from his boss (the 5th that he'd had in nine months) requesting that Martin see him in his office. He was a member of MENSA (and pointed it out at every opportunity).

MENSA boss: I'm a member of MENSA, and Paula says she needed survey results and you couldn't provide them for her. She's pretty upset even though I'm in MENSA. Tell me your side of the story. MENSA.
Martin: Her request was impossible. She wanted the survey results before the survey was even taken, let alone that I had less than a day to set up and test the application.

Martin was later written up for "failure to perform other duties as required." Feeling that he wasn't a good fit for the company, citing that as a human he's bound by the laws of space-time, he left for a much better opportunity.